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ACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

Tagged With "california prison suicides"

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Cheryl Canson

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Dawn Muench

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Kay Skagseth

Kay Skagseth
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Roger Kluck

Roger Kluck
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Jon Taylor

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Elle Morgan

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Lina Mavaega

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Fred Goff

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Marie Tracey

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Susan Kerin

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"5 myths about putting people in prison and what actually works." (upworthy.com)

When people commit crimes, we send them away from their families and communities to become better by locking them in cells. That idea really starts to fall apart when you consider the number of people who abuse drugs , people with mental illness, and people of color in the prison system. Sometimes society's most egregious myths are right in front of our faces. Thankfully, as a society, starting to take a second look at the parts of our criminal justice system, especially prisons, that might...
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5 things you've probably never considered about being pregnant while in prison. (upworthy.com)

Here are five things you may not know about being pregnant and incarcerated. 1. Thousands of incarcerated women are pregnant, and access to prenatal healthcare in prison is abysmal. 2. There are huge barriers to getting an abortion while incarcerated. 3. Pregnant women who are incarcerated often have to deal with dehumanizing, dangerous practices like shackling. 4. Giving birth while incarcerated can be a nightmare. 5. Mothers are separated from their newborns almost immediately. The bottom...
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7.25+

Zachary Dorholt ·
I have spent over a decade working at the intersection of mental health and social/criminal justice systems, but it wasn't until recently when I started collecting ACE scores with the inmates I work with in county jails. Prior to working in the jails, I worked in the state prison system, where I did mental health intake evaluations at the state prison where all offenders in Minnesota enter through. So often, in the back of my mind, was the thought that "if only these guys had the right...
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A California Court for Young Adults Calls on Science [NYTimes.com]

On a cloudy afternoon in the Bayview district, Shaquille, 21, was riding in his sister’s 1991 Acura when another car ran a stop sign, narrowly missing them. Both cars screeched to a halt, and Shaquille and the other driver got out. “I just wanted to talk,” he recalls. But the talk became an argument, and the argument ended when Shaquille sent the other driver to the pavement with a left hook. Later that day, he was arrested and charged with felony assault. He already had a misdemeanor...
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A college education in prison opens path to freedom (calmatters.org)

Cal State LA’s Prison Graduation Initiative is the state’s only public bachelor’s degree program sending professors to teach behind bars. College programs like it were once far more common, and today advocates are hopeful the political winds have shifted enough to bring public dollars back to prison education. Federal legislation that would make grant aid available has bipartisan support, and in California, a bill to open the state’s financial aid program to incarcerated students is headed...
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A Federal Judge’s New Model for Forgiveness (nytimes.com)

Should a judge care what happens, years down the road, to the defendants convicted in his courtroom? In 2003, John Gleeson, a federal district judge in Brooklyn, presided over the trial of a woman charged for her role in faking a car accident for the insurance payments. After a jury found her guilty, Judge Gleeson sentenced the woman to 15 months in prison. Many judges might leave it at that, but in an extraordinary 31-page opinion released on March 7, Judge Gleeson stepped back into the...
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A Food Truck Run by Former Inmates Charts a New Course (nationswell.com)

Since 2014 the New York City based Drive Change has been operating a food truck, called Snowday , as a way of reducing recidivism rates among young people. The organization hires and mentors formerly jailed young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. And so far, it has ushered more than 20 of them through its paid fellowship program, which provides both specific training in the culinary arts as well as broader professional-development skills. Graduates of the program have gone on to work as...
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A Mass Incarceration Mystery [themarshallproject.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
One of the most damning features of the U.S. criminal justice system is its vast racial inequity. Black people in this country are imprisoned at more than 5 times the rate of whites; one in 10 black children has a parent behind bars, compared with about one in 60 white kids, according to the Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality. The crisis has persisted for so long that it has nearly become an accepted norm. So it may come as a surprise to learn that for the last 15 years, racial...
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A Modern-Day Harriet Tubman (nytimes.com)

She was 4 years old when her aunt’s boyfriend began to abuse her sexually. Then at 14, she had a baby girl, the result of a gang rape. Soon she fell under the control of a violent pimp and began cycling through jails, prisons, addiction and crime for more than 20 years. Yet today, Susan Burton is a national treasure. She leads a nonprofit helping people escape poverty and start over after prison, she’s a powerful advocate for providing drug treatment and ending mass incarceration — and her...
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A New Justice Challenge for Trump: Mental Health & Drugs [TheCrimeReport.org]

It’s a common lament of the nation’s police officers and prison wardens alike: A large proportion of the crime suspects and inmates they find themselves dealing with suffer from mental illness, substance-abuse issues, or both. Today, a coalition of organizations spanning justice and health interests are launching a new campaign to focus on what they call “behavioral health issues in the criminal justice system.” At a meeting in Washington, D.C., the groups are issuing what they termed...
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A Police Department's Difficult Assignment: Atonement [witnessla.com]

By Michael Friedrich, CityLab, October 27, 2019 Standing before the congregation of the Progressive Community Church of Stockton, California, Eric Jones, the city’s police chief, apologized. It was July 2016, in the furious days after the police shootings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Those were followed closely by the deadly ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and in Baton Rouge after protests over the Sterling...
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A Prison With No Walls (nationswell.com)

To be clear, inmates at Moriah do not receive shock therapy, as its formal name seems to infer. Rather, non-violent felons, like DiSilvestre, are shocked by therapeutic social programs and military-style schedules designed to lower recidivism rates. Still, there are two shock programs in New York that have proven effective and have drawn praise from state department heads, academics well-versed on military-style prisons and inmates. The prisons boast both lower recidivism rates and lower...
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A Prosecutor's Vision for a Better Justice System (dailygood.org)

I am a prosecutor. I believe in law and order. I am the adopted son of a police officer, a Marine and a hairdresser. I believe in accountability and that we should all be safe in our communities. I love my job and the people that do it. I just think that it's our responsibility to do it better. The staggering inefficiency is what drove me to criminal justice work. The unfairness of it all made me want to be a defender. The power dynamic that I came to understand made me become a prosecutor.
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A Trauma-informed, Resiliency-based Community of Practice for Prison Educators

Sheryl Huggins Salomon ·
An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled " How Philanthropy Can Create Public Systems Change " describes how Renewing Communities, a five-year, multifunder initiative aimed increasing education of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students by California’s public colleges and universities, partnered with the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research in order to address educator burnout through a trauma-informed and resiliency-based community of practice.
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A Vision of Healing, and Hope for Formerly Incarcerated Women (nationswell.com)

Topeka K. Sam sits on a plush purple sofa in the living room of an immaculate row house in the Bronx, ordaining all of the ladies in the room. Sam, a founder of Hope House , a residence for previously incarcerated women, points to her cofounder, Vanee Sykes. “She’s a Lady of Hope,” Sam says, then swivels and points at another woman who has just entered the room. “That’s another Lady of Hope.” And, apparently, so too is this reporter. “The Ladies of Hope is you, and it’s all of us,” she adds.
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Action steps using ACEs and trauma-informed care: a resilience model (link.springer.com)

The prison system is an example of the ways undigested trauma from early childhood experiences can join with the conditions of harshness and violence in many of our U.S. prisons and contribute to reinforcing a cycle of reactivity in both Correction Officers and prisoners. The correctional system is rife with challenges to the health and well being of Correction Officers (COs) as well as prisoners. Suicide rates of COs are more than double that of police officers as well as for the national...
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Adult Reentry Grant Program (ARG): Proposals due November 1st.

The Adult Reentry Grant (ARG) Program was established through the Budget Act of 2018 (Senate Bill 840, Chapter 29, Statute of 2018) and appropriated $50,000,000 in funding for competitive awards to community-based organizations to support offenders formerly incarcerated in state prison. The Budget Act requires that funding be allocated as follows: -$25 million be for rental assistance; -$9.35 million to support the warm handoff and reentry of offenders transitioning from prison to...
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At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard (latimes.com)

The cost of imprisoning each of California’s 130,000 inmates is expected to reach a record $75,560 in the next year. Gov. Jerry Brown ’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes a record $11.4 billion for the corrections department while also predicting that there will be 11,500 fewer inmates in four years because voters in November approved earlier releases for many inmates. The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding...
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At Least 61,000 Nationwide Are in Prison for Minor Parole Violations [TheMarshallProject.org]

Among the millions of people incarcerated in the United States, a significant portion have long been thought to be parole violators, those who were returned to prison not for committing a crime but for failing to follow rules: missing an appointment with a parole officer, failing a urine test, or staying out past curfew. But their actual number has been elusive, in part because they are held for relatively short stints, from a few months to a year, not long enough for record keepers to get a...
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“BECOMING MS. BURTON: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women” by Susan Burton and Cari Lynn

I met Susan Burton in 2010, but I had learned her name years before. I was doing research about the challenges of re-entry for people incarcerated due to our nation's cruel and biased drug war. At the time, I was in the process of writing The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness - a book that aimed to expose the ways the War on Drugs had not only decimated impoverished communities of color but had also helped to birth a new system of racial and social control eerily...
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Behind Bars, Mentally Ill Inmates Are Often Punished For Their Symptoms (npr.org)

By some accounts, nearly half of America's incarcerated population is mentally ill — and journalist Alisa Roth argues that most aren't getting the treatment they need. Roth has visited jails in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta and a rural women's prison in Oklahoma to assess the condition of mentally ill prisoners. She says correctional officers are on the "front lines" of mental health treatment — despite the fact that they lack clinical training. "Most of [the correctional...
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Bill On Governor’s Desk Aims To Reduce Childhood Trauma By Diverting Parents Into Treatment, Instead Of Prison [witnessla.com]

By Taylor Walker, Witness LA, September 13, 2019 An estimated 10 million US children have parents who are currently locked up, or who have previously been incarcerated. A bill currently on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, SB 394, seeks to reduce the number of parents and children separated by incarceration by boosting diversion. Children arguably suffer the worst consequences of mass incarceration. In 2014, a UC Irvine study found that having a parent behind bars can be more damaging to a kid’s...
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Bill would require more mental health screening for some state convicts (pressdemocrat.com)

A state legislative bill that would require judges in certain cases to consider a defendant’s mental health during sentencing was approved by the Legislature this week and is headed for Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The bill, AB 154, would require judges to make a recommendation to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that a convicted felon receive a mental health evaluation if mental illness played a role in the crime. North Coast Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael,...
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Birthdays behind bars: An essay by an inmate [Street Roots News]

Everybody celebrates in a different way Enrique Bautista is an incarcerated person at Snake River Correctional Institution in Eastern Oregon. He is a periodic contributor to Street Roots. Dec. 22. It is the day after my birthday. I am now 35 years old. I am a 35-year-old man. Wow! It feels like only yesterday I was just another 18-year-old kid with a chip on his shoulder coming into the system. With 20-something years to serve, mad at the world, full of hate and frustration. Everything was...
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Bryan Stevenson Wants the U.S. to Face Its History [nytimes.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
Last month, Congress passed the First Step Act, a prison-reform bill intended to reduce recidivism. Do you think this bill will actually change the realities of mass incarceration? It’s important but insufficient, in terms of the actual number of people in jails and prisons. We’ve gone from 300,000 people in jails and prisons in the 1970s to 2.2 million people today. We have to radically reorient ourselves and start talking about rehabilitation, restoration and how we end crime. And if we do...
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Buddhas on Death Row: A Bridge of Art & Friendship (dailygood.org)

Buddhas on Death Row was born out of the collaboration of two pen friends, based in the United States and Finland. Their names: Moyo and Maria When I came to prison I was quite inarticulate and made an oath to myself that I wouldn’t ever again allow someone else to tell my story. I would be the one from here on out telling it. But I knew that what I wanted to do was master the art of communication. For a long time, I spent my time dealing with difficult emotions within the space of my art.
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CA Could Reduce Its Prison Population By 30,000, Says Report (witnessla.com)

A new report outlines strategies the state of California could employ that would reduce its prison and jail populations by 30,000 and save approximately $1.5 billion in prison spending. In 2016, there were over 200,000 people were locked in California’s prisons and jails. According to the report, lowering the incarcerated population by 30,000—by reducing the length of prison time for the majority of inmates by 20 percent—would make it possible for the state to close five prisons. The report,...
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California Ramps Up College Education Behind Bars (capitalandmain.com)

Prisons have been called universities of crime. What if they became, instead, actual universities? There is plenty of evidence to support bringing higher education classes into prisons. Nearly all inmates will eventually be released, and a comprehensive 2013 RAND Corporation study found that inmates who participated in educational programs lowered their chances of recidivating by 43 percent. The RAND study also found that each dollar invested in correctional education returns between four...
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Can Restorative Justice Help Prisoners to Heal? (greatergood.berkeley.edu)

The Insight Prison Project helps incarcerated men learn new emotional skills in order to succeed in and out of prison. But it can also help crime survivors. A dozen men sit in a circle. Some are old and some are young. A facilitator asks each one to check in with the group about how they are feeling emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Sometimes a man tears up with emotion as he talks. The others listen, offering nods of support or asking clarifying questions. It sounds like a typical...
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Children of imprisoned parents get Oregon bill of rights [streetroots.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
"The first state law of its kind..." reads the article! A big thanks to Oregon law makers for pioneering law supporting the rights of children of incarcerated parents. On Tuesday September 19 th , Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill of rights for Oregon's children requiring the Oregon Department of Corrections to develop and sustain policies and procedures supporting the needs of families, and protecting the rights of children, when parents are incarcerated. This legislation is...
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Children of Incarcerated Parents

Patrick Anderson ·
As a middle aged, naive and wide eyed kid with a new mission, that of addressing the many behavioral issues we faced in our Alaska Native Community, I focused on what I referred to as restoring responsible fatherhood to families. As the son of an absent father, I believed that the simple act of re engaging fathers with their children could have immediate results. Well, as I discovered, nothing is easy, especially in the field of corrections. I did start a fatherhood initiative for Alaska...
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Clark instructors help Larch inmates earn GEDs (columbian.com)

YACOLT — Posted on the walls in the Larch Corrections Center’s education building are photos of inmates, beaming in blue caps and gowns. These are men who have earned their General Educational Development certificates, or GEDs. These are the men who came first. In a nearby classroom, other men in beige and burgundy uniforms huddle over textbooks and worksheets. These are the men who hope to come next. Clark College’s GED program at Larch Corrections Center is a cornerstone of the educational...
 
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